Amersham Hospital Staff Garden Creation project – June 2021 

On Wednesday 2nd June, 5 young people from Amersham and surrounding areas, joined volunteers from Chiltern Rangers and Amersham Hospital to give their staff garden a well needed upgrade. As we all know, the NHS has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, and they deserve a space where they can get a bit of peace during their breaks.

Finding the balance between a traditional formal garden and a wildlife area was interesting, but we found the two supposed ‘opposites’ complimented each other very well. The young people planted salvias and campanulas, as well as buddleias and currant bushes (which a Butterfly Conservation priority species moth – the Currant Clearwing Moth uses as its food plant).

The young people also got involved with installing stag beetle stumperies, invertebrate log piles and totem pole structures. The stag beetle stumperies involved digging a hole for the structure to be placed, placing the logs inside and tamping the earth around the logs, ensuring they were secure. They also drilled holes within the structure to encourage solitary bees to nest in them. None of the young people had done a task like this before, so it was great to see them learn not only how to carry out the task, but why. Days like these are a great stepping stone for young people to get interested in nature, and hopefully they will inspire a new generation of naturalists.

The contrast between a traditional formal garden and the wooden structures for invertebrates to live in were amazing to see by the end of the project. I hope this shows people that gardening does not have to be stereotypical formal gardening, it can benefit wildlife too and still look fantastic.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the work in action

As well as getting involved with the gardening tasks, the young people also had the opportunity to get involved with spray painting a mural for the garden. Dan Wilson, from Decreate, worked with the young people to create a beautiful mural, and also helped them spray paint bird boxes that they had made during the day too. The mural included wildlife that we hope the plants and structures will encourage to live in or visit the garden.

Thank you to the hospital volunteers, Chiltern Rangers volunteers, and the young people for getting involved in this fantastic project. A big thank you, as well, to Amersham Community Board and the NHS Trust for funding the project.